Summer School at FORTH: Laser technologies in Cultural Heritage analysis, diagnosis and conservation | News

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Summer School at FORTH: Laser technologies in Cultural Heritage analysis, diagnosis and conservation

For the 6th consecutive year, the Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser of FORTH is organizing the "OPTO-CH 2018" Summer School, entitled "Laser technologies in Cultural Heritage analysis, diagnosis and conservation". This year's Summer School focuses on issues related to the protection of Monuments against Climate Change and is being conducted within the framework of the European H2020 project HERACLES ("HEritage Resilience Against Climate Events on-site") (GA 700395).

Participants will have the opportunity to become acquainted with the latest research of the "Photonics for Cultural Heritage" team of FORTH, to participate in specially designed laboratory experiments, to follow and get familiar with the application of these techniques on-site and to attend lectures by distinguished researchers of this field. They will also be informed about the research carried out by the scientific partners of the HERACLES consortium related to the monitoring and protection of monuments against events related to, or caused by, the climatic change.

18 students, young scientists and professional conservators were selected to participate to the OPTO-CH 2018 HERACLES summer school, including students of the University of Crete and conservators of the Heraklion Ephorate of Antiquities as well as other Bureaus of the Ministry of Culture in Crete. On Thursday 5/7 and Friday 6/7, the conference will be held in the Venetian Fortress “Koules” and will include lectures by researchers from the HERACLES consortium, while participants will be able to attend on-site demonstrations of portable analytical and diagnostic instruments carried out by researchers of the Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser and the Institute of Computational Mathematics (Coastal & Marine Research Laboratory, N. Kampanis) of FORTH, as well as of the Italian Research Institute of CNR.

Three Institutions participate in the HERACLES project on behalf of Greece: FORTH, the Ephorate of Antiquities of Heraklion and the Department of Chemistry of the University of Crete. The aim of the project is to design, validate and promote responsive systems and solutions for effective resilience of Cultural Heritage, including coastal assets, against climate change effects, considering as a mandatory premise a holistic, multidisciplinary approach, through the involvement of different expertise (end-users, industry/SMEs, scientists, conservators/restorers and social experts, decision, and policy makers). The output of HERACLES will be the development of a system exploiting an ICT (information and communications technology) platform, able to collect and integrate multisource information in order to effectively provide a complete and updated situational awareness and support decision making for innovative actions to improve Cultural Heritage resilience, including new solutions for maintenance and conservation. HERACLES operational platform will be validated in four challenging Cultural Heritage sites, key study cases for the climate change impact on European CH assets; a) the Minoan Palace of Knossos and b) the Venetian Sea Fortress-Rocca a Mare or Kules in Heracklion, Crete, Greece as well as c) the town walls and d) the Palazzo dei Consoli in Gubbio, Umbria, Italy.

Having completed the first 2 years of its duration, HERACLES is now at its most important and critical stage with the aim of evaluating, testing and implementing the results of the multidisciplinary research so far carried out by the consortium related to the protection of Monuments.

Summer School program :


OPTO-CH series of summer courses:,

Dr. Paraskevi Pouli, IESL,

HERACLES EU project: